Day Four


Day 4

Wednesday July 21, 2010

551 Miles

Objective for the day:

La Quinta Resort



I had parked my bike under the covered area in front of the motel.  Since I do not have to be in California until middle of the afternoon, I donít pull out of the motel until 7:30.  This allows me to eat at the motel and save a couple of dollars.  I enjoy the cool air of the morning as I get up to speed on the interstate 


Most of the day is spent crossing Arizona.  I have two large towns to navigate, Tucson and Phoenix.  Tucson is fairly easy with no turns or problems, but I am dreading Phoenix.  I will have to pass through Phoenix at about 10:00 in the morning which is 8:00 morning rush hour here.  There are a lot of cars on the road, and the temperature is already getting near 100 degrees.  I really expected traffic jams and tie ups, but saw neither.


I am covering a lot of miles on the interstate.  This is one of the shortest days by mileage that I will do on this trip.  It is only a 550 mile ride.


I am noticing that as I get closer to California, it is getting hotter.  I am really getting overheated.  I have not had a helmet on since I left Seguin Texas on the second day.  My arms are sunburned, my ears are sunburned and so is my nose.  The sun block I bought is helping now, but it is too late. 


I enjoy riding my bike with a hat on and the freedom of riding without a heavy helmet.  I have checked and I find that Texas, New Mexico, and Arizona all have laws in effect that allow you to decide if you want to wear a helmet or not.  I chose not to wear one.  I tell you this so that maybe you will understand that I also thought that California had the same no helmet law.  I will tell you more on this a little later.


It is now so hot that I almost feel like I am roasting in an oven.  The thermometer on my bike is reading 108 degrees.  This is the hottest temperature I have seen so far, and it is taking a toll on me.  I pull off on a deserted interchange to get a drink of water.  I drink an entire bottle of water and then I grab another that was not already in my cooler and literally pour it over my upper body.  My shirt is soaking wet and it feels good.


I donít think I got more than 30 miles before I was completely dry again.  I stopped two more times and did the same thing, drink a bottle and sacrifice a bottle to outside.  I arrive in California and surprise, surprise; it looks exactly like the desert in Arizona, and it is just as hot.  The closer I get to Palm Springs, the more dehydrated I felt.  This desert will really take the energy away.  I cannot even imagine traveling through here on a horse in the middle of the day,


I donít know how many people I talked to that commented, ďYou have all that air blowing on you.  That must have kept you cool.Ē  I told them it like standing in front of a giant hair blower turned on high heat.  Yes there is wind, but is like a blast furnace.  I had people tell me it would be hot, but to experience it yourself, is really different.


Elaine and I had thought we might take a little side trip on the bike to one of the local Parks on Friday while we were here.  I come to the conclusion that as hot as I am and as miserable as I am, Elaine could never be comfortable in this heat.  A side trip on the bike is going to be out of the question.


I am already tired of the scenery.  For three days, I have seen enough cactus and rocks to last me a lifetime.  I will not come back through here on a motorcycle again, especially in the middle of July.


I am nearing Palm Spring and my gps is telling me it is not far to go.  Just a few miles before my turn off, I am coming down out of the hills into a valley.  I can see civilization ahead.  Can it be getting hotter?  It seems like it as I reach the valley floor.  I turn off the interstate and I am heading to La Quinta California.  There are only about 20 miles left to go. 


It seems like I have to stop at every stop light and sit and wait.  This adds to agony of the heat, because now I have to put up with the heat from the air, and the heat rising from the bike.  I even believe the temperature gauge on the bike is reading higher than normal.  I know my internal temperature gauge is a lot hotter than normal.


I finally arrive at La Quinta Resort, pull in and park, and as I am getting off the bike, I see Elaine walking towards me.  She tells me where we are staying and I ask one of the guys at the desk how I get there on the bike.  He directs me to an entrance a little further down the road.  When I pull in to the guard at the gate, I am told I have to have a parking pass to get in.


I go ride back to the front desk get my parking pass and go back to the guard gate where I am able to enter.  I find our bungalow, and park the bike.  All I want to do right now is sit down in some cool air.  After cooling off, putting some shorts on and unloading the bike, it is time to find the registration desk for the convention and get signed in.  While we are out, we grab a bite to eat and a cold beverage.  Nothing left to do not but wait for tonight and the opening entertainment.  Al Jardine one of the founders of the Beach Boys is on tap to entertain us.


I am almost asleep before my head hits the pillow.  The entertainment is over around 10:00 pm (1:00 am in GA).  I am not used to being up this late.